Isabel Celis UPDATE: @ChiefCMagnus addressing media. Human remains located in Tucson sadly identified as Isabel Celis through DNA analysis pic.twitter.com/YFM6TANbH0
— Sergeant Pete Dugan (@SgtDugan) March 31, 2017
The young girl's remains were found recently in a remote area of Pima County, and have been DNA tested, Tucson's police chief said in a Friday press conference. Police did not indicate how long Celis had been dead, and would not be specific about the location of the discovery.
Police say they are still actively investigating leads and have not named any suspects.
Celis disappeared in April 2012 from her family's home near Broadway and Craycroft in Tucson. She was 6 years old at the time. A bedroom window that was closed the night before the disappearance was found open the next morning, the family said in a police report. The window’s screen was damaged and on the ground.
Through a third party, the girl's family has released the following statement:
We want to thank the community for the support they have continued to show for Isa over the years and for refusing to give up hope. Now is our time to mourn. We ask for our privacy during this time so that we can do that.
Her disappearance and massive multi-agency search made national headlines since 2012.
Investigators locate remains of Isabel Celis, 6-year-old girl who went missing in 2012
The remains of Isabel Celis, the 6-year-old who went missing from her Arizona home in 2012, have been found, the Tucson Police Department announced Friday.
Investigators found the human remains in a rural area in Pima County, said Tucson Chief of Police Chris Magnus. A portion of those remains were then sent to an out-of-state laboratory for DNA analysis, which confirmed they were the remains of the little girl, Magnus said.
"It ends the hope of bringing Isabel home safely to her family," he said, adding that Isabel's parents have been informed.
Police have actively reviewed and followed up on more than 2,200 leads since the day Isabel went missing, Magnus said. The police department will continue to actively pursue "those responsible for any kind of involvement in Isabel's disappearance," he said.
Magnus would not provide the exact location where the remains were found or disclose what led investigators to Pima County, simply saying that their presence there was "not happenstance." The scene has been "thoroughly processed," and a full investigation has been completed there, he said.
The police chief also did not release any information on potential suspects but asked the public to contact police with any information relating to Isabel's case, promising to continue to investigate "in a very dedicated manner."
Isabel's abduction garnered national attention after she was reported missing by her father on the morning of April 21, 2012. Her father discovered that she was missing after Isabel's mother had left for work and he went to her bedroom in their Tucson home to wake her up, then-Tucson Chief of Police Roberto Villasenor said at the time.
After her abduction, Isabel's family told ABC News that they had no doubt the girl was kidnapped by a stranger.
Remains of ‘US Maddie’ Isabel Celis found five years after she disappeared from her bedroom
THE remains of a six-year-old girl who vanished from her bedroom five years ago in chilling echoes of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance have been discovered.
Isabel Celis was last seen being put into bed in Tuscon, Arizona, at 11pm in April 2012, reports The Sun.
When her dad went to check on her in the morning, he discovered she had vanished.
The mysterious case sent shockwaves around the world and bore a haunting resemblance to the disappearance of Maddie McCann.
Despite making headlines around the world, police made no real progress on the case for five years.
But last night they revealed that human remains in a remote area that matched Isabel’s DNA.
Her family had maintained she was last seen after being put to bed on a Friday night — and called the police the next morning when she wasn’t in her bedroom.
Chief Chris Magnus confirmed last night police had found human remains which were matched to Isabel via DNA analysis.
He would not say how police were led to the spot a month ago, except to say it was not “happenstance”.
No arrests have been made and the police refused to say if there were any suspects.
When Isabel first vanished there were theories surrounding a suspicious entry point in the family home.
This was suggested to be her bedroom window, which may have been forced open.
Neighbours were also said to have heard male voices and the barking of a dog at about 6.30am the morning she was reported missing.
Her family released a statement which said: “We want to thank the community for the support they have continued to show for Isa over the years and for refusing to give up hope.
“Now is our time to mourn. We ask for privacy during this time so that we can do that.”